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Cool, Calm, Collected

Monday, 16 December 2013 13:38
  For career woman and mom Monica Verplank, life wasn't always so serene. The former assistant superintendent of instructional services at Grand Haven Public Schools traveled much for her job and spent long hours of educational leadership training. She loved her work, but knew as she started her family that the rigorous course was not conducive to the life she imagined. Several months after her first child was born, Monica left the district and started consulting part time. It was the best of both worlds; she could raise her family and still work with clients, developing curriculum and tapping into… Read more...

Local Learning

Thursday, 12 December 2013 11:09
Expanded learning is a family affair in West Michigan, thanks to the legacy of the Malone's. Cultivating educational opportunities at Sylvan Learning centers across the west side of the state since 1985, the company works to help more students every year by employing top-notch teachers and trending tools. Sylvan Learning of West Michigan Executive Director Hillary Malone Tilton was one of the first students at Sylvan Learning, when she was five years old. After her parents broke ground on the first center, she "literally grew up with the business." The family now owns seven centers in West Michigan including those… Read more...

Beauty from Within

Thursday, 05 December 2013 05:29
Dr. Natalie Goran, founder of Celsia MediSpa in Muskegon, has treated the uneven, the wrinkled, and the rosacea. But while she knows most women (and even men) have something about their skin they'd like to change, her understanding of common aging conditions goes more than skin deep. "My motto," she said, "is beauty comes from inside." The top three things treated by licensed therapists in Natalie's office are wrinkles, uneven skin tone, and darkened sun spots. They also work with clients dealing with acne, rosacea, and unwanted facial hair. "When women come in, I ask them, if you looked in… Read more...

What Happened to Your Imagination?

Tuesday, 26 November 2013 06:09
Peering up from their grandfather's knee, Denna Arnold's children grew up with storytelling, which enhanced their ability to dream. Now, other children will develop creative minds thanks to Denna's children's book, Grandpa, What Happened to Your Hair? The book, "fifteen years in the making" she said, is Denna's tribute to her dad and his vivid imagination.  Denna's forte is watercolor art. As a degree from Syracuse University in illustration and experience working with Kendall College of Art and Design would attest, her background is more in the visual arts. Needless to say, this book is unlike anything she has done.… Read more...
Strong in body, mind, and spirit, Dany Lyn Redwine-Bucks beat the odds and her breast cancer. Now, she's standing up against another debilitating force. As an African-American, it is not in Dany's nature to share her own struggles with others—including her family—but she knows in order to save lives, she must tell her story.  Dany said African-Americans, especially the older generations, are reluctant to share health concerns with others: What happens in the home stays in the home, so as not to burden others with personal problems.  "It's a cultural thing, and it's one of the things I'm trying to… Read more...
Before she was an award-winning writer, editor, and strategist, Dawn Pick Benson wrestled with the concept of leadership and her role as a leader. Now having had career experience in corporate, non-profit, and higher education sectors, Dawn has reconciled her beliefs about leadership and has decided to make an impact on her world. While still in grade school, Dawn started thinking about the truth that leaders have the power to change society through their actions. She was inspired when she read biographies of people such as explorer and missionary David Livingston, and abolitionist and Union war spy Harriet Tubman. Her… Read more...
The Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Kendall College of Art and Design (KCAD) Fashion Studies program announced the official naming of the program as the Pamella Roland DeVos School of Fashion. The program is named for Pamella Roland DeVos, a Grand Rapids native and president and designer of Pamella Roland, a renowned international fashion company headquartered in New York City. The naming is in honor of a $1 million gift the Dan and Pamella DeVos Foundation made to KCAD’s Fashion Studies program, a donation that will help the new program grow and raise its profile around the country and within the industry.… Read more...

Reconstruct, Rehabilitate, Persevere

Monday, 28 October 2013 03:28
Pilates instructors in Grand Rapids are doing their part to provide services to those affected by breast cancer. Kim McDonough and her staff at Core Pilates & Barre will be trained and certified in post-surgery rehabilitation exercises through the Pink Ribbon Program next month.  Kim, who started Core Pilates in Rockford in 2005 and moved the studio to Grand Rapids in 2007, said the Pink Ribbon Program trains fitness instructors in practices that help ease survivors back into fitness. "It is a program that empowers women coming out of a very difficult time and (helps them) take control of what's… Read more...
Do you feel like you're in a career rut? Your goals (if any) seem unreachable, or you can't pin down exactly what you want to do with your job or life. A coach could help you prioritize, provide advice and support, and point you in the right direction. Kimberly Gleason experienced the benefits of a coach firsthand and was able to form a major business goal—to open a coaching business of her own. Now, Kimberly Gleason Coaching exists to help your life "flourish and grow."  Formerly an English teacher, Kimberly dedicates her days to helping others discover their inner passion and… Read more...

Sold on Service

Thursday, 17 October 2013 06:41
True or false? When your mother tells you to do something, you want to do the opposite. For a just-out-of-college Diane Griffin, the answer was true. But eight years ago, she resigned to the fact that sometimes, moms just know best. Now, she's making her real estate-savvy mother and her community proud with her commitment to the thriving business community and local philanthropic efforts.  As owner of Griffin Properties in Grand Rapids, Diane knows that to have success in business, she must surround herself with great people who possess varied talents but are all committed to working toward a greater… Read more...